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War Crimes - Marine Boot Camp Haiku

Continuing haikumania's presentation of Ty Hadman's work as part of the haikumania
War Crimes Project we present "Marine Boot Camp Haiku". This piece gives us a real
feeling of the often brutal Boot Camp culture that even now prevails in armies around
the world. - paul t conneally December, 2000.

                         MARINE BOOT CAMP HAIKU

 

     Taking the oath;
     "I promise to serve GOD
     and my country."

 
     standing on a set
     of yellow painted footprints
     there’s no turning back
 

     These footprints were to indicate where the new draftees and recruits had to stand in line while
     waiting to get our heads shaved.

 
     our hair is gone
     in a matter of minutes
     we look like pathetic monks

 
     on a bus to the barracks
     no one is allowed to speak
     a single word

 
     second week of training
     the damn D.I. nicknames me
     "Scarecrow!"

 
     D.I. stands for Drill Instructor.

 
     an exhausting day
     the man beaten up badly
     stifles sobs after taps
 

     Taps refers to the time of rest, after "lights out!" Sometimes a sad bugle is played.

 
     lights on at 4 a.m.
     the last man out of bed
     gets a boot in the butt

 
     chow hall
     four minutes
     for breakfast

 
     A chow hall is a military cafeteria.

 
     120 men
     take a piss in 42 seconds
     "two seconds too slow ladies!"

 
     standing at attention
     hour after hour in the heat
     no one moves an inch

 
     today we were allowed
     to smoke just one cigarette
     everyone is miserable

 
     daytime
     worse than the worst
     nightmare

 
     parade grounds
     our heels thundering in unison
     music to the D.I.’s ears
 

     The parade grounds is the place where military marches and inspections are held.

 
     pugil stick drill:

     Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill!

     Kill! Kill! Kill!
 

     Pugil sticks are used in training men to fight with a bayonet attached to the front end of a rifle in
     hand-to-hand combat.

 
     climbing up the rope
     by the time I reach the top
     my penis is hard

 
     twice today I was called
     a slimy dick cock sucking
     son-of-a-bitch of a bastard!

 
     standing guard duty
     the D.I. hiding inside
     the dipsty-dumpster

 
     the D.I. just waiting
     for me to make a mistake
     his sadistic eyes

 
     "Scarecrow! Stand up
     with your arms straight out
     until I say you can move"

 
     have an upset stomach,
     complain, get punched in the gut,
     then puke my guts out

 
     fourth week on the rifle range
     I ain’t gettin’ Maggie’s drawers
     no more

 
     Maggie’s drawers is the name of the flag that is waved when the marksman completely
     misses the target.

 
     qualifying with the M-14
     my eye and the bull’s-eye
     become one

 
     The M-14 is a military rifle. The M-16 was mostly used in Vietnam, but a few soldiers
     preferred the heavier, but more accurate M-14.

 
     Final Inspection:
     the fly on my nose refuses
     to leave me alone

 
     Graduation Day:
     for the very first time the D.I.
     calls us Marines

 
All work is copyright Ty Hadman and should not be reproduced without permission.